Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Surprise Trip to Tucson

Paul's parents live in Tucson, Arizona, and were kind enough to host us for a visit a few weeks ago.  We did not tell the boys.  We woke them up at 5:30 and told them we were headed to Atlanta.  Boy were they surprised when we pulled in to the Roanoke airport.  Cort and Reid had never flown before.  Once we got to Atlanta, they eventually learned we were catching another flight.  People in the airport were so amused to hear them talking (loudly) about how they didn't know where we were going.  They sure were thrilled to find out we were headed to Tucson.  Here is our first picture there, taken in the backyard of my in-laws (is that a killer view they have or what?).
Because it was so hot there (the hottest day reached 113*), we tried to stay on Eastern time so we could get going early enough to beat the heat of the day.  Having gone to college in Texas and spent some time traveling out west, some part of my brain remembered the high, dry heat, and embraced it.  In a way it felt like coming home - I hadn't realized how much I'd missed the American southwest.

A typical day started with me waking up via internal alarm at 4:30 and heading out the door for a run.  Here's a picture Paul took of an amazing 9 mile run I did in the desert (Paul biked with me while I ran, for safety reasons).  We did not see a soul.  It was like we were completely alone.  We did see lots of jackrabbits, though.

Afterwards we would go change and clean up and grab breakfast.  Then out the door (usually by 7) for adventure.  The first day we took the boys hiking in Honeybee Canyon.
I felt so lucky to be there, looking at the desert terrain, walking through canyons.  I would breathe in the hot dry air and just sigh in overwhelming amazement.
In addition to jackrabbits, we saw javalina, a bobcat (their bobcats are SO much bigger than the ones we have in Virginia), cottontail rabbits, and heard the coyotes.  The birds are plentiful as well, and I'll be devoting an entire post to them.
The boys struggled a little more than the adults with the heat, but we kept them covered in sunscreen with hats and sunglasses for much of the trip.
From my perspective, it was hard to worry about the heat when I was surrounded by so much beauty.

What a wonderful way to start the day.  In the afternoons, the boys would cool off at the pool.  I think they would've been happy to just stay at the pool all day, every day.  I have more posts coming from our trip, so stay tuned!
Readers, have you ever had the opportunity to visit the American Southwest?

18 comments:

Tom said...

...what a great surprise.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

That trip was really neat, good thing you surprised the boys as the wait to go on such a big trip would have been unbearable for them. The scenery reminds me of that old western High Chaparral that must have been filmed around there.

Karen S. said...

Wonder trip and surprise for the boys! My grandfather lived not too far away, in Florence, since my dad was 12, so we spent every summer driving out there and visiting. I continued that trip after I got married, although my grandfather has passed now. One of my dearest friends moved to Tuscan a year ago and she has those lovely mountains in like every photo! But they took a trip away from just during that awful heat! They got back this week. I'm not sure if she knows about this great place you took the boys, so I'm going mention it! Enjoy, it's a lovely place to visit.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

How exciting was that! I loved your idea of getting up early before the weather got unbearable. What a nice trip for all of you. Love all the photos.

Ginny Hartzler said...

I have never been. But it looks so wonderful and different, almost like another planet. I can't imagine how much fun your runs were!! And I can't wait to see your bird post, we are birdwatchers. I love your first picture, it is gorgeous! You all look so happy, and the view is wonderful! Were there actually lots of honeybees in the park? And why did someone make a hole in the rock wall?

Betsy Adams said...

What a wonderful trip for you and the family... I cannot imagine running 9 miles in the desert (or anywhere for that matter).... I can't take the heat at much as I used to when I was younger...I am still trying to walk a couple of miles a day ---but when it gets to 90 degrees with humidity, I just can't do it... Yesterday I just had to walk around and around in our yard (which is shady)....

I know that the boys loved that trip... Can't wait to see more posts.

Hugs,
Betsy

Maggid said...

I Truly Enjoy Tuscon.
Makes me happy - seeing your family in a familiar setting.
You certainly figured out how to handle the dry heat . . .
Hurray!!!

Sally said...

Such a wonderful surprise for the boys! And, yes ma'am that is some view for your in-laws, just beautiful.

Then, there you are running! I'm so glad y'all were able to make that trip and look forward to seeing more.

xoxo

Endah Murniyati said...

So interesting! Great cactus!

Linda said...

I've been to Arizona once. It was fantastic!

Vera said...

I shall never visit the USA as it is too away, but it is lovely sharing your homeland with you.....it is if I am an armchair tourist!

mail4rosey said...

I have never been to Arizona. I'd love to go. I agree with you, I don't mind the heat, and it does look beautiful. I'm glad you got to go.

Aodhnait said...

Looks like an amazing trip. I'd like to visit Texas some day :-)

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love that you surprised the boys! Did they like flying? We lived in Phoenix for a few years (that's where Linds was born) and we LOVED IT! Such a beautiful place; who knew the desert was so pretty? I'm so happy you were able to get a summer vacation in with family.

HoneyBeeHelps said...

That must have been quite an experience for them ! Arizona is hot (luckily a dry heat)
but such sights to see. I notice it didn't keep you from getting in a good run:)

Annette said...

What beautiful pictures!! How cool that you surprised the boys like this. I have to admit that seeing your post makes me want to go back and relive our Arizona trip all over again. We've only been home for 6 weeks, and yet the trip already feels like it was ages ago. I can't wait to see more of your posts!

Jeanette said...

We were in Nevada/Arizona in March of this year and the temps were in the mid 90's already! I think it was record highs for that time of year though!

alissa apel said...

What a great surprise! We surprised the boys when we went to Chicago on a train ride. It's great when they don't know where they're going.

I'd love to go to Arizona! Travis' parents like out that way as well. How fun!

You know they'll remember the trip.